We’re so much more than the label “Parkinson’s sufferers” implies. Poignantly quoted on the Voice Aerobics website by organization founder and friend Mary Spremulli, now-deceased blogger Kate Kelsall – herself diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease – described her feelings about being referred to in just medical diagnosis terms.
“When someone describes me only in terms of my medical diagnosis as having Parkinson’s, it doesn’t describe me as a person. The human element is overlooked, and I feel devalued. Too often, disability-related labels are used unnecessarily to describe a person. A disability is NOT the most important descriptor of any individual. Defining a person as though the disability comprises the entirety of the person often segregates and isolates the person and fails to recognize the humanness.”
“Labeling may cause others to overly focus on the visible manifestation of the disease while failing to connect to you, personally.” –Mary Spremulli, Voice Aerobics founder – Products and Programs that Support Voice Use